In case you haven’t noticed, I like rap and I think women are dope. As such, women rappers have always held a special place in my heart. Since I was a kid, I’ve been enamored by these women. They’ve insisted on having a seat at the table with full hearts and laid edges. The complicated stories told in hip-hop are not just orated by men. And in the process of telling their own stories, figures like Foxy Brown and Gangsta Boo have taught me invaluable lessons about friendship, consent, money, pain, family, and of course, sex.
For many of us, female rappers are the only way we see ourselves fully represented in the music we love. Having really powerful female energy on a song can completely change a rap record. Suddenly, what was just a dope beat and catchy lyrics are an offering of identity, solidarity, and pride.
It is these songs that are burned in my memory as cultural jewels. They don’t have to be inherently feminist, some of them blatantly aren’t. But they’re real; and they mean something to the culture I identify with. There is no feeling like being in the middle of a party and rapping the lyrics to one of these verses at the top of your lungs. Listen to the tracks and see for yourself.